Jennifer Sierra admits to a lifelong struggle with her weight. “I have no recollection of being a thin child or person for that matter.”
At the age of 13, she began an exhausting weight loss journey that was mostly futile because she acknowledges she was looking for the, “magic trick” instead of a new way of life. After fourteen years and countless diet plans, Jennifer finally learned how to eat for life, instead of just, for now.
When you’re uncomfortable in your own skin and desperate for an immediate solution, you don’t always think about the long term benefits and risks of a diet, you just want the extra pounds – gone! As a teenager, Jennifer tried a host of different plans including Herbal Life, Slim Fast, phentermine pills, Atkins Diet, Quick Weight Loss Center, calorie counting, short term diets, and cardio overload to name a few.
Yo-yo dieting was the norm, but long lasting results were not.
I use to focus so much on counting calories without realizing I was eating such an unbalanced diet.
After seeing an unflattering photo on a Facebook page, Jennifer decided it was time to, “fix the problem forever.” After consulting with personal trainer, Eric Lee Salazar with Flex Level Fitness, she started eating “clean” and using a macronutrient based diet. Instead of calories, she counts grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates to make sure each meal and snack has the balance her body needs. For exercise, she combines cardio with muscle-specific strength training.
Jennifer says that even though she looks and feels better than she ever has, her fear of backsliding is always there. “My biggest struggle has been overcoming fear of bouncing back to my old weight,” she said. “For many years I was a yo-yo with my weight; I could never keep it off permanently.”
Recently, she celebrated the one year anniversary of her weight loss, and started a Facebook page to encourage others.
After all that strength training, Jennifer says she’d like to compete in a figure competition and maybe even become a certified trainer.
Her advice for others who are struggling: “It’s okay to fall off the horse but get back up, ASAP and make time for yourself. You’re important!”